Marper Farm was acquired by Government in 1928 for the purpose of cocoa research programmes in the Ministry of Agriculture. During the period 1935-1949, a geneticist called F.J. Pound established seventeen (17) collections of disease-free bud wood material at Marper. These are referred to as the “P” or “POUND” clones. These clones, among others, served as parents of what is known as the most successful cocoa breeding programme in the world, resulting in the Trinidad Select Hybrids or TSH varieties. In 1945 Marper Farm was expanded for use as a propagating station producing plants for farmers and householders. Production included coffee, citrus, mango, avocado and other fruit types.
The Marper Farm operated as an important propagation station during the period 1950-1994 and was a major supplier of budded and grafted cocoa, avocado, citrus and other fruits for the farming public of the north east and south east Trinidad. In 1994 the farm was downsized through the removal of its primary function as a propagating station and the staff was reduced by 60%. The remaining workers were utilized mainly in the upkeep and maintenance of field tree crop germplasm and compound.
The Marper Farm was reactivated in September 2011 with its major objectives being to produce and distribute high quality citrus, mango, avocado and mixed fruits planting material for the farming community and to produce a range of fruit commodities to significantly impact on the food security needs of Trinidad and Tobago. The refurbished Marper Farm was formally commissioned by Senator the Honourable Devant Maharaj, Minister of Food Production on the 13th November, 2013. Since then, the plant propagation activities have been considerably increased so as to meet the production/demand targets of the farming population.
- Production of high quality planting material – Citrus,mango, avocado, minor fruits.
- Conservation of strategic crop germplasm of agricultural importance – cocoa germplasm of national and
international interest, other tropical orchard fruit crop plants